You are a GIS analyst for the National Park Service. You have been asked to create a dataset showing "wilderness" areas in a national park. These areas are defined as 2,000 feet away from a paved road, 500 feet away from any campsite, and 100 feet away from a trail.

To complete this task, you will need to create buffer zones around the specified features and then clip those areas out of a polygon, showing total coverage of the park.

Files: campsites.shp parkboundaries.shp road_and_rails.shp trails.shp

Comments: So the first step is to create a clip that keeps each shapefile within the boundaries of the park. Then create a buffer around each of the feature classes within the prescribed distances.

Can you use the batch process for clipping and creating these within python?


I tried to use the buffer tool, but it created so many buffers that you could no longer see the original input. Not sure how to proceed.

closed as off-topic by PolyGeo Feb 20 '18 at 0:23

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking help to debug/write/improve code must include the desired behavior, a specific problem or error and the shortest code necessary to reproduce it in the question itself. Providing a clear problem statement and evidence of a code attempt will help others to help you. See: How to create a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example." – PolyGeo
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Use the dissolve_option "ALL" when buffering. – Dan C Feb 7 '18 at 18:56

I think you are better suited to work with raster data in this case. If you have the spatial analyst extension in ArcGIS, you can calculate the Euclidean distance from each feature and then reclassify those rasters based on your qualifications for "wilderness" (e.g. reclassify "distance from campsite" raster to be 0 or Nodata for < 500 ft and 1 for > 500 ft). You can then use the raster calculator to add these three reclassified output rasters together, leaving you with areas that satisfy all three conditions having a value of 3. This data can then be converted back to polygons if need be.

To code this into a batch process, you could write the three input features into a list, loop through them to calculate the distance and reclassification, and then add the three outputs together outside of the loop.

  • I opened the Euclidean distance feature. It allows for the park boundries shp calculation, but the other data it will not recognize – James Buford Feb 7 '18 at 18:57

I solved this by taking the roads_and_rail and created a feature class with only the paved roads.

I then created a buffer for each of the zones 100, 500, and 2000. Each done individually since I could not find a way that a batch could be done.

I then merged those buffer zones together and ran the dissolve tool.

I next ran the erase tool on the outcome of the merge which created the file I was looking for.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.